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PressureVessel for My Brother

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My brother is a mechanical engineer and I was looking for something outside of myself to print. He sent me a file and this is what I came up with.


This was a 4.5 inch test piece just to see how it would come out. It came from an Inventor file and it was designed as a piece of equipment and not a model. So that meant that there are hollows where tubes run in and out of it and the empty space inside where the vessels builds pressure. So, lots of walls and intersections and parts. I also did a quick paint test to see how he liked it.


This is the final print on the third try. Why three? Well, Da clumsy noob stuck is old slow hands into the buildplate and when the printhead knocked into it, the x,y alignment went out of whack and did not stay in register with the printed model No issues once it homed again, but you cannot do that in the middle of a print. Did not hurt the printer, but ruined the print. The second try, I ran out of filament and I did not properly fuse the ends of the old and new filament together and it cause all sorts of issues. Such as it could not retract. New filament could push, but not retract. Also, it under-extruded on the very top cone part and it was just crumbly. I did try to repair it, but when I went to epoxy the top cone part back to the bottom cone part, it would just buckle. So this is the third print. Oddly, I ran out of filament at almost the same place and even though I just changed filament, it did have a bonding issue on thin parts at first. You can see where the thin top did not laminate properly. To be fair, I did change brands and color, so....no worries. That is why the cosmos blessed epoxy unto us. As I mixed the quick acting miracle, I heard the following echo from the skies: "Domine Macchiato Latte." Which is Latin fer "Gimme fancy coffee me ol' bean, I gotta werk fast."


I did have to thicken walls to make many of them come out properly. To keep from messing with the outer geometry, I thickened towards the inside. But, that made two of these pipes close up on the bottom.


Also, different parts just printed better in a different orientation. The handles here did not print as clean as I would have liked.


Now, these are a bit on the fragile side anyway, so I was going to print up some replacement parts in case it got knocked over and the handles got broken up, so I got to replace them myself. No problem with that. I still gots lots of 'em to send to the sibling o' mine in case he messes it up. Or a coworker....or his dog......Prometheus is getting his liver eaten everyday for delivering epoxy wonder unto us, so I plan to use it to honor his sacrifice. A little snip here and there and a cleaning with a sharp x-acto and then a quick drilling to give the handles something to guide into and hold better did the trick.


Then a quick drilling to clean out the two pipes on bottom to open them up and make the model accurate again.


And once I laminated those thin parts down with epoxy that bowed up in printing, I painted it. Easy Peazy, Lemon Squeezy :)








Final printed model is 10 " tall.

Edited by kmanstudios
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This is a new project for my brother. I have this ready to print:


It is part of a heat exchanger unit. When finished it will be 11.5" in length. I may get this one done to take to the Netherlands. That is usually the kiss of death for me though since, as soon as I mention something like this, all kinds of hell rains down upon the project. But I shall give it a go. I think I will print it in Fillamentum's Rapunzel Silver Extrafill. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed on this one.  :fingerscrossed:

Then I will print this. It is not ready as it is missing a few parts that he will put in and resend, but I wanted to see what he thought of the look. For both of them, I took his Inventor Files and thickened them so that the walls and such would print and created the cutaway look for the machines.


At this stage, each one is designed as a single print and no assembly required. By rotating and angling the object, I can make it slightly larger than the spec'd dimensions I am showing.

Edited by kmanstudios
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Yeah, I am kinda wondering how that works out myself. I asked for things to challenge the printer.....hahahahahahaha.


He just updated the models with all the parts to them such as the retaining bolts. I have the top image of the cooling unit sliced and ready to print when the printer gets finished with what it is working on now tomorrow afternoon.


That one will take three days to print alone.


The bottom one with two of the cooling units (twice the printing on that) plus the framework and additional piping will be interesting to see how long it takes to slice and print.


The Cooling unit alone will be 11.5" from end to end, but it will printed vertically. The other one will really fill up the buildplate. I mean not really max it out. But I am glad I have the extra room on that thing to print with. It would be interesting to make an assembly model out of it and really get in there and treat it like a real kit. That would be a gazillion parts....yeesh!!

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Since he updated the model with all the doodads and stuff...... It is proving to be hell for Cura to slice it. It is really a lot of stuff going on there. I just may have to break it up to get to just slice.


Revised with all the doohickies....


This one sliced just fine and is a 3 day print.



I will figure it out when I get back from a bidness trip. For now, I am just letting the full model sit and slice while I am in bed. :)

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Cool. What is the purpose of these models? To show the internal components? Or as part of a scale model for a new plant?


I have worked in a huge chemical plant long ago, in the port of Antwerp, so I have seen and operated quite a lot of distillation columns, heat exchangers, valves, coolers, pumps, and stuff. These models look really realistic, with all the bolts and flanges that I would expect, and even the eyes for lifting it with a crane. :)


Are those little tubes hollow all the way through? Wonder how that is going to come out of the printer, and how you are going to get the support material washed out of them...


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OK, I did a couple of mods. Just for the heck of it.

In the big one...


...I replaced some of the tubes, such as the bundle of the cooling units in the center and a few pipes around the edge to keep the slicer from making useless interiors that cannot be really seen with solid cylinders. This had a radical effect of making the print time go from 204 Hrs to 190. While only 14 hours difference, every moment counts.

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Just curious but what is the poly count on your stuff. I usually stick to about 70,000- 700,000 for small - big models. slice quickly and print ok. I also aim for 7-12hr prints regardless of the model. But recently i had to reprint my Giger print and internal infill added 9hrs from 36 to 45 hrs. But it did print perfect compared to the original which had major holes and distortion in it that I spent hours filling due to the lack of support. Never again!!


Because I have pretty much abandoned poly modelling I have very few hard edge models which Is a shame. I must do more robotic stuff! Seeing all your straight edged stuff is very refreshing due to the simple but highly detailed nature of it. Low poly versions of the stuff you are doing would be totally useless and defeat the point. 


Keep it up, and good luck with the print!

Edited by cloakfiend

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My Poly count will greatly vary, but I do try to go no more than 2.5 million. That is for a really crazy model. I also make a lot of models that are hollow. That doubles the count, so if it were a 2.5 Million as a hollow object then a solid would be around 1.25 million.


It also depends on how much support has to be made and how thin I tell the line widths to be. These two models are really not that big in poly count. It is more about all the little nooks and crannies and tight areas it has to work with. Also, these models are actually models that were made for manufacturing and there for tubes are true tubes and not solid cylinders and such. That adds to a bit of time as well. And, I am printing really, really big stuff with sometimes really tiny details like this one:


That thing fills up the print area with barely enough room in height.

But here you can see that it is hollowed out with tubes and holes for LEDs, Fibre Optics and Side Casting Fibre Optics. So, that adds an enormous amount of time and polys for printing.


The Throne of the Nautilus King is that way as well:



My fractal stuff I try to keep at the above mentioned maximum. And the hollow thing is so that I can control transparency. But the Supports on this one ate me alive both in material and time.



If I push the line widths for the 0.4 nozzle to about 0.64 I can print a single wall with the model actually having two physical walls. This gives me a decently strong print with a huge amount of transparency with the right filaments. I have printed a second of Julia's Flower (The print above) with just the one wall. It is also a slight redesign. This one was printed with 2 walls for a total thickness of 4 printed walls. When I get the other print photographed, I will put it up so you can see just how transparent it can get. But, wow, it eats support like you would not believe.

Edited by kmanstudios
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8 hours ago, Brulti said:

Those things are impressive. I could so use those sculptures for yours for my RPG games...

I do not understand.....do you mod your games or make your own?


You should see some of the weird sculpts I have done via fractals, such as those. I do sometimes add stuff to complete the look, but it is all mostly fractals. Believe it or not, most of those are a bunch of fractals I threw together when something pinged in me warped brain. I just see stuff all the time in shadows and patterns and such. I am completely visual.


For instance, my bug helmet is a bunch of fractals with a bit of Kirbyesque modeling to complete the look in the eyes and chin/mouth region. And, the bug helmet and the throne image above are related in concept.


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12 hours ago, kmanstudios said:

I do not understand.....do you mod your games or make your own?


I do pen and paper RPG, not computer ones. So, there's not much of a visual aspect to it, except for pictures used from time to time to show some stuff, or when playing in well known universes like Star Wars, and your sculpts, like the throne one would add that stunning visuals to a game.


"You finally arrive at the end of a tunnel. It opens up to a vast cavern dimly lit by phosphorescent fungi. In the center, sticking out of the murky waters, you see the Throne of the Sea King!"

Then I place your sculpture on the table, and I'm sure that all my players would open their eyes wide in astonishment. ;)

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